Fisherman’s Wharf In-N-Out refused to verify proof of vaccination


The city’s only In-N-Out location at 333 Jefferson Street in Fisherman’s Wharf was closed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health last Thursday because employees “were not preventing the entry of customers who did not wear not the proper vaccination documents, “according to a statement from the burger chain.

The Fisherman’s Wharf location has since reopened, but meals inside are not available, an In-N-Out spokesperson told SFGATE. Although the restaurant has posted signs advising customers of local guidelines – which require people to show proof of vaccination before dining inside since August, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Health ordinance Safer Return Together – In-N-Out’s legal and business director Arnie Wensinger said the restaurant shouldn’t have to enforce these policies.

“After our restaurant closed, local regulators informed us that our restaurant associates should actively intervene by requiring proof of vaccination and photo ID from each customer, and then act as enforcement personnel in prohibiting entry to any customer without proper documentation, “reads a statement from Wensinger.

“As a business, In-N-Out Burger strongly believes in the highest form of customer service and for us that means serving all customers who visit us and making all customers feel welcome. We refuse to become the immunization police for any government, ”he continued.

A spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Public Health confirmed that the restaurant received a “final” closure notice on Thursday after public health officials “repeatedly directly briefed In-N-Out representatives proof of the vaccination requirement, ”while the site owner, Anchorage Holdings LP, received a notice of violation. Health officials first visited the restaurant on September 24 after receiving a complaint via the city’s 311 service line.

Inspectors from the Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Division returned to the restaurant on October 6 to find it was still in violation of the order after previously providing information on how to comply with local guidelines .

“The company has been instructed to immediately cease all operations at the site due to the threat it poses to public health,” read a statement from the department, noting that COVID-19 vaccinations are important for people meeting in indoor public places, especially when removing their masks to eat and drink, which can facilitate the spread of the virus. “Since the issuance of the closure notice, the company has taken steps to comply and has since resumed operations for outdoor dining and take-out only. “

Wensinger, however, described the order as “unreasonable, invasive, and dangerous in forcing our restaurant associates to separate customers into those who can be served and those who cannot, whether based on documentation that ‘they wear or for any other reason “.

“We strongly disagree with any government dictate that requires a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business. This is clearly too far-reaching for the government and is intrusive, inappropriate and offensive,” a- he writes.

In-N-Out’s Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant opened in 2001 and has since cultivated a dedicated local and tourist clientele for its Double-Doubles, milkshakes and “animal” fries.

The spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Public Health has yet to confirm when the restaurant will resume indoor dining.

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